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Financial Stress & The Next Generation

Financial Stress & The Next Generation

| October 17, 2016


We enjoyed meeting so many of you at the Alliance Annual Meeting last month in Nashville! After hearing from Billy Beane and the resulting discussions on change and rethinking the status quo, we are prompted to share with you a few of the many news stories we come across almost daily about financial stress.

And in the spirit of rethinking the usual, we are focusing these particular articles on the X and Millennial Generation - those approximately aged 14 to 52 right now... in other words your next prospective members (sidenote: for a great comparison between the Millennial, X and Baby Boomer generations, checkout this Pew Research article).

We've discovered a phenomenon in our review - which is actually not very surprising at all to us, given our 25+ year history in Financial Wellness and Coaching. Just like every generation before them, these generations are stressed about money! So if that's not the "rethinking the usual” we're referring to, then what is?

Before we get there, let's start with what else hasn't changed... Content. What makes solving the financial challenges faced by Gen X and Millennial groups is not the content. Solid money guidance and financial literacy is still necessary. It's still based on time tested, proven concepts, and it's still not being delivered effectively in the home, at school and rarely in the workplace. None of that has changed.

What has changed however, is the complexity of financial decisions your members face every day. Pensions are rarely offered now and continue to be a shrinking part of the retirement picture. Housing costs and higher education expenses continue to rise creating a whole new and complicated landscape of personal finance that few of us are ever properly prepared to address.

What also has changed is the method of communication this groups prefers. Digital. Visual. Followed up by one-on-one "how does this apply to my situation?" expert guidance. By and large, X'ers and Millennials were raised around computers and video games creating a distinct bent toward harnessing technology in solving problems. But, they also recognize (sometimes painfully so) that one-size computer generated advice does not fit all. This is especially true when it comes to money decisions.

As you think about your society and how to reach your current and potential members more effectively, think about the financial stress they may be facing on a daily basis. Ask yourself and ask your fellow leaders... can we be a resource to address the # 1 cause of stress? Does it make sense for our society to provide a benefit that would in turn allow our members to take full advantage of our core insurance benefits? Would it distinguish us from the "other guys" out there?

We think so! As an organization, askFinancial Wellness has focused its resources on providing Financial Wellness and Literacy services to societies like yours effectively, affordably and with an eye on delivering time tested principles in ways that appeal to all generations. Ask us how it applies to your organization. We'll be glad to share some thoughts with you!